justice

Salt Lake’s DJ Bell Acquitted of Kidnapping. So He Got Beat Up For Nothing?

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Jurors wanted to know why Salt Lake taxpayers are on the hook for a $100,000 trial for David James “DJ” Bell, who, along with his partner, stood accused of kidnapping his neighbor’s two toddlers in July 2008. It was only one month later that prosecutors were citing a lack of evidence in the case, and instead turning their attention to the attack on Bell from that same neighbor. But they brought charges anyhow. Except: After a four-day trial and just three hours of deliberation, the eight-person jury acquitted Bell on all counts.

“Bell, 31, was accused of taking two children, ages 2 and 4, from the home of his next-door neighbor — where a loud drinking party had been going all night — to his home on the morning of July 4, 2008. But defense attorney Susanne Gustin said the wrong person was put on trial. The defense team has long maintained that relatives of the two children, who severely beat Bell and his gay partner, Daniel Fair, should be prosecuted for burglary and assault.” So now that they’re off the hook for kidnapping? “The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office had previously declined to file charges against Bell’s attackers.”